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I Suffer from Insomnia. Can I Qualify for Disability Benefits?

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March 11–17 is National Sleep Awareness Week. Over time, due to seasons in life, adults have gradually decreased the number of hours they need to sleep to function the next day. What started as seven to eight hours of sleep as a child has now turned into five to six, maybe seven if you are lucky. However, sleep is essential to properly function and perform daily tasks at work and in life.

Underlying Causes of Insomnia

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Most likely, you didn’t lay down for bed and decide to never sleep again. According to the Mayo Clinic, insomnia is often associated with other conditions. In cases of chronic insomnia, it typically occurs because of stress and life events that cause a great interruption to sleep. There is no quick fix to insomnia, but discovering the causes of insomnia in your life can help with treatment.

  • Stress Levels: Stress builds up over time. Work, school, family, health, money, relationships, etc. can be constantly on your mind to the point that it keeps your brain going at night.
  • Work Habits: Some work requires extensive travel that interrupts your body’s natural sleep cycle.
  • Low-Quality Sleep Habits: It can be tempting to stay connected to social media by having your phone and laptop open, but studies have shown watching TV and having screens on while sleeping promotes a low quality of sleep rather than complete darkness.
  • Irregular Dinner Times: Sometimes you may get home really late; rather than eating a normal-sized meal, consider eating less so your body does not have to digest all of that food right before bed.

While those are the most common causes, there are other causes too: mental health disorders, medication imbalances, medical conditions, sleep-related disorders, over-caffeinating, and alcohol consumption.

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability with Insomnia

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What happens if your inability to fall asleep or stay asleep begins to affect your ability to work? According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), to quality for disability benefits under chronic insomnia, you must meet one of the four criteria:

  1. You meet the SSA’s definition of disability with other conditions. The SSA looks at your overall health to determine whether you meet their definition of disability. Any conditions in addition to your insomnia may qualify you for disability benefits.
  2. You meet the SSA’s definition of disability because your insomnia causes other conditions. There are three common listings that can be traced, according to the Social Security Administration, back to insomnia: heart disease, mental disorders, and digestive problems.
  3. Your insomnia effects are equal to a condition that is already included in the Listing of Impairments. Mental disorders are one of the most common conditions referenced, specifically organic mental disorders (delirium, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and amnesia), depression, and anxiety.
  4. Your residual functional capacity (RFC) is low. Part of your RFC is your ability to work and engage in meaningful activity. There are cases where your RFC is so low because of your insomnia or any other conditions that you cannot obtain and maintain a job within your education, experience, and training.

If your insomnia has left you in one of these four categories, then pursuing Social Security disability benefits may be an appropriate option for you.

Hire a Muncie Social Security Disability Attorney

Proving job restrictions and inabilities because of insomnia is a challenge, but it is not impossible. The advantage to hiring a local Muncie disability attorney is having someone else handle your claim while you focus on what’s really important: your health. If you think you may quality for disability because of insomnia, call the attorneys at Hensley Legal Group or contact us online for your free consultation.